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Who Invented The Toothpaste?

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If you don’t brush your teeth at least two times a day, than you just might be a bit of a fowl person, it sounds harsh, but it’s true. You’re lucky if you even have toothpaste because, there was a time where it never even existed, and what did they use to keep their teeth fresh back in the day? Absolutely nothing! For years and years there would be nothing to maintain and keep your teeth clean, fresh, and nice for preventability, back then, no one really cared.

Dr. Washington Wentworth SheffieldDr Washington W. Sheffield. © Sheffield Pharmaceuticals.

Ziryab created the earliest toothpaste

But thankfully, someone smart came up with the idea that we needed something to help our teeth out, there was no way to continue living like that if our teeth would do nothing but decay. Toothpaste has existed for thousands of years but in various different forms and most not readily available to the people around it. During the 9th century, a musician named Ziryab created something that resembled that of toothpaste but was not exactly the kind we’ve come to know of today.

Advertisement for Dr Sheffield's toothpaste in 1903Advertisement for Dr Sheffield’s toothpaste in 1903.

But we may never know

This mixture has in it unknown materials, and though it was similar to what we have today, it most definitely did not have the mint freshness we’ve come to know and love. But this invention became very popular in Spain, so they actually managed to get their teeth washed even in a time where it wasn’t seen as a necessary clause. Of course, we do not know for certain if they actually used the toothpastes developed at the time for their teeth and that remains an uncertainty even to this day.

Modern day toothpaste

But it is believed that some civilizations used a toothbrush made out of twigs taken from trees, but most believe that the paste was rubbed on the tooth by either hands or by cloth. It would not be until the year 1900 that we finally get out hands on the practical application of toothpaste we all have come to rely on. In 1892, Dr. Washington Sheffield created the first, tubed based toothpaste after his son suggested the idea to put his toothpaste in a collapsible tube like what painters were using in Paris. It was this version of the toothpaste that utilized fluoride and other such ingredients such as mint that made it such a usable substance for our teeth. Thank goodness someone was thinking right.

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